Alex Miller

Jane Sullivan reviews 'Max' by Alex Miller

Jane Sullivan
Thursday, 24 September 2020

When Alex Miller first thought of writing about Max Blatt, he imagined a celebration of his life. But would Max have wanted that? He was a melancholy, chainsmoking European migrant, quiet and self-effacing, who claimed nothing for himself except defeat and futility.

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This is how it’s going to be then

Alex Miller
Friday, 11 September 2020

Writers and readers, it seems to me, are often driven by a need to confess. Everything. Not just sins. But the lot. To confess in the original secular sense of this word; to utter, to declare (ourselves, that is), to disclose and uncover what lies hidden within us. If I’d not been a writer, I used to think I’d like to have been an archaeologist. It’s only recently I’ve located the connection between writing fiction and archaeology. Historians and biographers are probably just as confessional in their work as writers of declared fictions. But they are undoubtedly able to more easily disguise this because they are accountable to the objective – to outcrops of unrelocatable facts along the way, that is.

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'This is how it’s going to be then'

Alex Miller
Thursday, 03 September 2020

Alex Miller was recently awarded the Braille Book of the Year Award for his novel The Tivington Nott. When he accepted this award, he spoke of the archaeology of writing and how he sees his work as being like a buried city, waiting to be excavated. This is an edited extract from his speech.

Writers and readers, it seems to me, are often driven by a need to confess. Everything. Not just sins. But the lot. To confess in the original secular sense of this word; to utter, to declare (ourselves, that is), to disclose and uncover what lies hidden within us. If I’d not been a writer, I used to think I’d like to have been an archaeologist. It’s only recently I’ve located the connection between writing fiction and archaeology. Historians and biographers are probably just as confessional in their work as writers of declared fictions. But they are undoubtedly able to more easily disguise this because they are accountable to the objective – to outcrops of unrelocatable facts along the way, that is.

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Interview with Alex Miller

Australian Book Review
Thursday, 03 September 2020

Helen Daniel: I find The Sitters very different from The Ancestor Game, which seems to me much more elaborate and complex. This new novel, which is about absence and silence, is an occasion of great economy and restraint.

Alex Miller: I think a couple of times in the book I actually say the story is my secret. In other words, I’m not going to tell you the story, I’m going to leave that out. Having left the story out, this is what’s left, which is always a kind of aim with me, and I think with any writer probably, to try to do as much as possible with as little. To leave it all out.

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Jennifer Dabbs reviews 'The Tivington Nott' by Alex Miller

Jennifer Dabbs
Friday, 07 February 2020

Don’t be put off by the cover of Alex Miller’s most recent novel, where a stag-at-bay is invoked, rather reminiscent of an early century front parlour picture. Although this novel is firmly set in period and place, it simply cannot be understated as the definitive deer-hunting tale. There is also the powerful universal sub-theme of the outsider searching for meaning and identity in a society firmly entrenched in a rigid and outdated class system.

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Veronica Brady reviews 'The Sitters' by Alex Miller

Alex Miller
Friday, 20 December 2019

Intimacy, someone has said, is ultimately unintelligible. Yet this novel suggests that intimacy, to the self and to others, may well be all we have. Miller’s three previous novels move in a similar direction. But in them there was a good deal still of the world of the likeness, of the external world as it seems to be. The Sitters, however, is about drawing a portrait of an ‘art of misrepresentation’, which interrupts our historical consciousness and unmasks the pretentions of rationality, taking us out into the dark beyond common sense, touching something else beyond words.

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Sophie Masson reviews 'The Ancestor Game' by Alex Miller

Sophie Masson
Tuesday, 06 August 2019

Alex Miller’s third novel treads some complex and difficult territory, staking out the past, memory, and the creation of self. It is also an incursion into the shadowy borderlands that lie between history and fiction, and the way in which, for every individual, the past has a different face ...

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Judith Armstrong reviews 'Lovesong' by Alex Miller

Judith Armstrong
Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Alex Miller has been named as a finalist in the 2009 Melbourne Prize for Literature, a rich award given triennially to a Victorian author for a body of work. It is hardly surprising that a writer who has twice won the Miles Franklin Award and frequently been the recipient of, or short-listed for, other prizes should be among ...

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In Alex Miller’s latest novel, Journey to the Stone Country, we are not in Carlton for long before being taken far to the north, to Townsville, and then inland to country that few Australians know. The short first scene is handled with dispassionateness and economy. Melbourne history lecturer Annabelle Beck comes home to ...

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Geordie Williamson reviews 'The Passage of Love' by Alex Miller

Geordie Williamson
Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Every author has some version of origin story: a narrative describing what it was that first compelled him or her to write, or at least what attracted them to the role. You can hear the tale harden into myth as an emerging author shapes themselves to those obligatory rubrics of self-disclosure required by writers’ festivals. Sometimes ...

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